Getting Into Med School
Start writing a post
Student Life

12 Things You Won't Make It To Med School Without Doing

Just create a cure for cancer and maybe they'll consider you.

544
Doctors

I think the majority of people would agree that being on the pre-med track in college is very challenging. Every time someone hears that I am a biochemistry major on the pre-med track, their eyes widen and only one thing comes out of their mouths: "I'm sorry."

Medical schools are rough with their application process so it's no wonder why students are always stressed and try to do everything they can to liven up their resumes and prepare for the MCAT, resulting in social suicide in college. There is just never enough time in the day to do the things you desire and attend all classes, study, and complete all of the assignments. Here is a little list of things you should do as an undergraduate pre-med student to stay on task and be a successful applicant.

1. Study hard

Everybody knows that med schools prefer 4.0 GPAs and that you basically cannot get below an A- in any of your classes if you want to succeed. Although this is true, you can still allow a little room for mistakes—ones you can crawl back from. It's alright to do poorly on a quiz or two but don't make it a habit. Study hard and study every day. Come up with strategies that work best for you such as index cards or outlines. No one will cut you slack, especially in those tough biology and chemistry courses—so do what you have to do to be the best version of yourself every day.

2. Go to office hours

I'm sure you've heard this a million times (because I sure have) but that's only because this is truly important. Professors have office hours for a reason—they are there to answer all of your questions, but most importantly to get to know you better. When senior year comes around, who do you think will write the most relevant recommendation letters? The best one will most likely come from that one biochemistry professor who has established extraordinary research, written a book or two, and maybe even taught at a med school before. You want to be recognized by THAT professor, and not just as a student who took the course and got an A.

3. Do research 

Experience is key in medicine. Not only is research good for your personal knowledge but having your name out there will give you a better shot in future research positions that may relate more to your exact career. This is where professors' office hours come in handy, too—don't be afraid to ask them if they have room in their lab once you get to know them. Don't be afraid to search through the database of the professors at your school and find the ones whose research you genuinely like. Email them and let them know you're interested because it's very rare that a position will randomly be offered TO you. Most importantly, don't be afraid of rejection; keep trying.

4. Get involved

Getting involved on campus will alleviate your stress, help you find new friends, and allow you to make many connections. Surely, your campus has medical-related clubs and organizations—go out to a few of their general body meetings! You can learn a lot about careers in medicine, volunteer at different places, and maybe even get clinical hours. However, also try to join clubs that have nothing to do with medicine; you need to let loose and just have a good time making friendship bracelets or playing volleyball.

5. Read books

You want to be a sophisticated, intelligent, and empathetic applicant when applying to medical schools. Your vocabulary and memory will improve and expand with more reading, correlating to better writing skills and concentration. Writing those personal essays, resumes, and attending interviews will come with ease if you're constantly improving yourself by reading books, whether they are scientific or are romcoms.

6. Watch lectures/TED Talks

Same point as reading, except you're getting knowledge on interesting topics that will help you in your career and are getting to know people who are famous in the science world.

7. Get certified

Take an EMT class, become CPR or CPT certified—it will help you in your future career in medicine and will look good on applications! Try to find opportunities on campus where these things will get provided for free.

8. Go to advising

Make use of the staff on campus—they're here to help you. If you aren't certain what course you should take next or how to go about your minor, or anything else related to your pre-med track, go to your advisor. Sometimes it's nice and less stressful to have a conversation with somebody who doesn't have anything to do with your grades.

9. Know the MCAT

One of the most important tests in your life, the one that decides your future in medicine—nothing to stress about, right? People go about studying for the MCAT in different ways but I personally think that somewhere in your sophomore year you should begin reviewing your notes from previous biology and chemistry classes. Don't leave all of the studying for the week before your exam; this isn't just another bio exam. Additionally, know exactly what will be on the test—the number of questions, the type of questions, and the amount of time you need to spend on each one. Take as many practice tests as you can in a test environment—keep preparing until you're nauseous.

10. Cry it out

Breakdowns are okay. No one said being pre-med is easy. It's stressful and requires a lot out of you, so if you cannot contain all of your hatred towards that organic chemistry class, cry it out. If you are overwhelmed by all of the studying, cry it out. If you're just having a bad day because your poli sci friends are hanging out without you, cry it out.

11. Have a backup plan

If we're being honest, less than half of medical school applicants actually get into medical school. It's one of the most competitive fields and even if you're really good, there will always be better—not necessarily more intelligent—but somebody with more lab experience, a better story, a higher MCAT score, etc. Don't give up on your dreams but do have a backup job/career that you're interested in. Make sure you can fall back on your major and do something with it if med school doesn't work out.

12. Get rest 

Don't forget to take care of yourself in this long journey—get sleep, stay hydrated, and have fun, because today is the youngest you'll ever be.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

49798
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

121921
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments